Mina Hsiang, administrator of the U.S. Digital Service (USDS), offered her latest insights into current work and progress underway in executing on the White House’s customer experience executive order (CX EO) during remarks on July 21 at the MerITocracy American Innovation Forum.
President Biden in December 2021 issued the CX EO – entitled Transforming Federal Customer Experience and Service Delivery to Rebuild Trust in Government – to design and deliver government services in a manner that people of all abilities can navigate.
Hsiang explained that Federal agencies had already been working on several metrics laid out in the CX EO prior to late last year, but they lacked the resources and/or support to elevate that work and overcome some of the challenges they were facing.
“The USDS has put together a framework for offering centralized capabilities to help agencies meet some of the directives laid out in the CX EO. Agencies are on pace to implement some of those directives, but obviously, this is something that takes time,” Hsiang said.
In addition, the USDS is supporting various focus-area teams to help combat some of these challenges – like data sharing between Federal agencies. These teams, Hsiang added, are typically made up of engineers, product managers, designers, and user experience researchers.
Hsiang also explained the continued importance of collaboration between industry and the Federal government in overcoming roadblocks in the CX EO work.
She explained that employees recruited to the focus-area teams have expertise in government and an understanding of navigating government processes as well as expertise in procurement because “we recognize that we’re going to be partnering and interacting with industry as well as with the agency,” she said.
This team-approach solution, according to Ross Nodurft – executive director of the Alliance for Digital Innovation and moderator of the discussion with Hsiang at the MerITocracy event –
marks an interesting approach to collectively dealing with some of the leading challenges in delivering services and improving government CX.
“It’s important that we recognize as you are fulfilling your mission to bring in folks who are in the industry who are leveraging the latest and greatest that’s out there to solve these problems,” said Nodurft.
Another key directive in the CX EO is creation of the Life Experiences Framework that aims to start bringing together multiple agencies and different services and programs with a goal of aligning them to produce more intuitive and straightforward service offerings for citizens.
“There are certain times in your life that you have to interact with several government agencies,” Hsiang said. “This framework would focus on the person as a human and their experience, bringing together all the different agencies and processes that the person has to interact with and unify those for a simpler experience for the individual,” she said.
USDS is currently working with various Federal agencies to gather insight on how such a framework could effectively be implemented and utilized, Hsiang said, adding that her organization is working on a written proposed implementation plan for the framework.